Match Centre: Investec Champions Cup: Northampton 24-14 Munster

Tommy Freeman was one of the try scorer for Northampton Saints
Tommy Freeman was one of the try scorer for Northampton Saints

Northampton 24-14 Munster, cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Garden

George Hendy scored a double as Northampton Saints edged out Munster 24-14 in the round of 16 clash in the Investec Champions Cup at cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Garden on Sunday.

The Saints will now have a home quarter-final game against an in-form Bulls side next weekend.

The Saints made a strong start to the game as Burger Odendaal freed James Ramm for the opening try in the 9th minute and Fin Smith kicked the conversion to make it 7-0.

Munster hit back in the 14th minute when Sean O'Brien collected a short pass from Alex Nankivell to touchdown before Mike Haley collected the ball following a period of sustained pressure to dive from close range in the 27th minute. Jack Crowley kicked both the conversions as the Irish province raced to a 7-14 scoreline.

Nevertheless, Northampton managed to level the scores at the stroke of half time as Tommy Freeman collected on a pass from Smith to dot down as the opening half unseparated.

Both the teams were desperate for a breakthrough in the second half with Munster's breakdown creating trouble for Northampton. Nevertheless, the home side side eventually clawed their way back into the lead as Ollie Sleightholme and Ramm freed Hendy over the line in the 60th minute but Smith missed a conversion and a penalty making it 19-14 heading into the final 10 minutes.

Any chance of a comeback from Munster was put off as Hendy collected a loose pass 25 metres out to dot down but once again the conversion from Smith drifted wide but Northampton went on to complete a 10-point victory to progress to the quarter-finals.

Team line up:

Northampton: Ramm; Freeman, Dingwall, Odendaal, Sleightholme; Smith, James; Iyogun, Langdon, Davison, Moon, Coles, Lawes, Ludlam (capt), Graham

Reserves: Matavesi, Waller, Hill, Mayanavanua, Scott-Young, Augustus, Mitchell, Hendy

Munster: Haley; Zebo, Frisch, Nankivell, O'Brien; Crowley, Casey; Loughman, Scannell, Archer, Beirne (capt), Ahern, O'Mahony, Hodnett, Coombes

Reserves: Clarke, Wycherley, Donnelly, O'Donoghue, Kendellen, Murray, Carbery, McCarthy


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table